What is Massage Therapy?
Massage Therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage therapy helps alleviate the soft tissue discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions. If employed early enough after accidents involving trauma and injury, massage therapy can greatly reduce the development of painful muscular patterning.
Massage therapy consists primarily of hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, specifically, the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints for the purpose of optimizing health.
Massage therapy treatment has a therapeutic effect on the body and optimizes health and well-being by acting on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. Physical function can be developed, maintained and improved; and physical dysfunction and pain and the effects of stress can be relieved or prevented through the use of Massage Therapy.
Modern massage techniques can be traced back to the 1700′s and the development of Swedish massage, the first systematic method of therapeutic massage based on physiology. Today’s Massage Therapists use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology to combine traditional Swedish and modern Massage Therapy techniques with exercise and other therapies to treat their clients.
Before a treatment, your Massage Therapist will propose a personalized treatment plan based on an initial assessment and health history. If you have an assessment, it consists of various tests to determine the condition of your muscles and joints. Any personal and health information you provide to your Massage Therapist is completely confidential and will be safeguarded. Your health record cannot be released or transferred without your written consent.
What About Confidentiality?
Your Massage Therapist must also obtain your consent to work on any part of your body, regardless of whether you are fully clothed, or fully or partially covered with sheets or blankets. Your privacy will always be respected, and you may withdraw your consent for treatment at any time.
Various specialized movements of the hands, over the skin or clothes, make up the Massage Therapy treatment. The Massage Therapist will work with your level of pain tolerance during the treatment, and the treatment can be stopped at any time should the treatment become uncomfortable.
Massage therapy is not covered by OHIP, but many private insurance companies cover treatment from a Massage Therapist as part of their extended health care plans. Please consult your policy.
How Can Massage Therapy Help Me?
Massage therapy can be beneficial to people of all ages and conditions and is widely used to help obtain relief from many specific problems, including:
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
Stress relief and associated conditions
Headaches and migraines
Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
Repetitive strain injury
Circulatory and Respiratory problems
Pregnancy and labour discomfort
Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation
Do I Have To Remove All My Clothing?
No. Your comfort as a client is of the utmost to all Registered Massage Therapists, whether that is in the context of the clothing you wear or the treatment you receive. Massage Therapists can provide important treatment whether you elect to remove any, some, or all of your clothing. All RMTs are trained in proper draping procedures to ensure that your privacy is completely respected at all times during treatment. Your comfort and ability to relax is paramount to effective treatment.
Registered Massage Therapists will also describe the treatments to be provided to ensure that you are comfortable with them. Your consent is sought before treatment is provided. If you are uncomfortable, your RMT wants you to let them know immediately, whether that discomfort involves the treatment, draping or any pain you may experience.
Be sure and discuss the most effective means of treatment with your Massage Therapist.
Does Massage Therapy Hurt?
As with many treatments affecting the soft tissue, there are times when massage therapy can cause some light discomfort but it is not harmful. Discomfort usually diminishes and no technique of this nature is used without the therapist first discussing it with the client and obtaining your permission. A comfort scale will be established and the therapist will work to the client’s tolerance level. The client can stop or change the treatment at any time and Massage therapists will modify their techniques to meet their client’s needs.